Definition of feign in English:


See synonyms for feign

Translate feign into Spanish

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Pretend to be affected by (a feeling, state, or injury)

    ‘she feigned nervousness’
    • ‘Likewise, fighters who feign wounds or injury to lure the enemy within striking range teach their foes to view enemy wounded as a threat, placing all injured soldiers at risk.’
    • ‘Fair enough, there are people who feign injuries and make up claims to make some money, which is totally wrong.’
    • ‘One can affect unawareness, feign indifference or summon up some other defense against such entreaties.’
    • ‘People said that I feigned injury and that I winked when I was on the stretcher.’
    • ‘If a predator approaches an active nest, the adults will give alarm calls and often feign injury to draw the predator away.’
    • ‘In rugby union, if a player's thought to be feigning injury, referees have the discretion to order them from the field.’
    • ‘Apparently many of his patients try to take him for a ride, feigning injuries to achieve compensation, while other call-outs are totally unnecessary.’
    • ‘Anthony and Maxwell are clamouring for her attention, and now the other girls think she's feigning her injury.’
    • ‘Luckily for him, his opponent did not feign injury.’
    • ‘And if that fails, fall to the ground and feign injury to break up your opponents' attack.’
    • ‘When was the last time we heard a manager berate one of his own players on TV for feigning injury, diving, time-wasting or abusing the referee?’
    • ‘They are awarded for offences such as grabbing, holding, feigning injury, pushing and turning one's back on an opponent.’
    • ‘In a time of snarling footballers and feigned injuries and all-round nasty behaviour, it is good to see two footballers smile and laugh so much.’
    • ‘At least three of his opponents claim he feigned injury as a psychological tactic.’
    • ‘Being a big coward myself, I think I'd feign an injury rather than be on a team that has to face this Argentinan side.’
    • ‘The parents readily feign injury to distract attention from young which can fly at around three weeks.’
    • ‘This is like telling the story of a dream by feigning sleep.’
    • ‘With knees bent in, they bob back and forth; some of the men almost look like they're feigning broken limbs.’
    • ‘She raises her eyebrows looking amused, then pulls her maybe face and feigns falling asleep on me.’
    simulate, fake, sham, affect, give the appearance of, make a show of, make a pretence of, play at, go through the motions of
    pretend, put it on, fake, sham, bluff, pose, posture, masquerade, make believe, act, play-act, go through the motions, put on a false display
    pretended, simulated, assumed, affected, artificial, insincere, put-on, fake, faked, false, sham
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 archaic Invent (a story or excuse).
      ‘I'm really not going to want to leave this office when the time comes… perhaps I can feign a compelling excuse to stay… any suggestions?’
      • ‘Have him or her call you back; it is reasonable to feign a reason for an emergency exit if you are ill at ease.’
      • ‘The next day I decide that I can probably safely show up at anytime and feign having made an appointment.’
    2. 1.2 archaic no object Indulge in pretense.
      ‘He swiftly picked it up, feigning having dropped some of his notes, and unfolded it.’
      • ‘But anything feigned or forced is to be avoided.’
      • ‘Josh put his hand over where I had hit him and feigned being in pain.’
      • ‘Stephanie looked up at him and feigned to be surprised by his visit.’
      • ‘Asha feigned considering the offer for a minute, then replied with a smile.’



/fān/ /feɪn/


Middle English from Old French feign-, stem of feindre, from Latin fingere ‘mold, contrive’. Senses in Middle English (taken from Latin) included ‘make something’, ‘invent a story, excuse, or allegation’, hence ‘make a pretense of a feeling or response’. Compare with fiction and figment.